Determinants of female labor force participation in the Philippines

Emily Christi A. Cabegin and Rebecca S. Gaddi

The female labor force participation rate in the Philippines is among the lowest in the ASEAN region while the gender gap in the labor force participation is among the widest, despite the Philippines’ reversal of the gender gap in education. The aim of this research report is to identify the factors that explain the labor force participation and employment states of Filipino women using both quantitative and qualitative approaches. The low labor force participation of Filipino women is attributed to multidimensional factors including stereotyped gender roles that assign women to domestic and reproductive roles and men to economic and productive roles; religious restrictions on the types of occupation that women can undertake; lack of access by women to skills training for virtual jobs and e-commerce that are more compatible with domestic responsibilities; occupational gender segregation; employer discriminatory practices; and undercounting of women’s economic activities.

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